Ryan Garry knows more than most about the highs and lows of being a youth player.
While at Arsenal’s academy Garry, who was highly rated at the time, was part of the FA Youth Cup winning squad of 2001 and went on to make his Premier League debut against Southampton at Highbury in the first match of the Invincibles’ 49-game unbeaten run in 2003.
Subsequently, however, matters took a turn for the worse for Garry, who endured much misfortune with injuries and suffered shin splints which dictated that he would never play a competitive game for the first-team again.
Following a spell with Bournemouth Garry was forced to retire at the age of 27 having struggled with injury again and he then took his first steps into coaching.
Garry initially became first-team coach and defensive co-ordinator at Bournemouth before leaving 10 months later which led to him applying for a coaching position at Hale End.
Despite having been rejected initially, Garry was eventually given a position coaching the U13s and he has worked his way up to now be in temporary charge of the U23s.
Arsenal are still on the lookout for a permanent replacement for Steve Bould, with England youth coach Kevin Betsy having been strongly linked with the position.
However, Garry will be determined to show that he deserves an opportunity to lead the U23s. The former defender has gained much experience from being assistant to Freddie Ljungberg and then Bould, while he has developed a very good rapport with the players and can pass on his knowledge of the difficulties of making the breakthrough.
The U23s’ pre-season plans have been disrupted by coronavirus, but as things stand Garry will be the man in charge when Arsenal take on Ebbsfleet, Bromley and Boreham Wood in their upcoming pre-season friendlies.
This could be a chance for Garry, who already possesses a comprehensive knowledge of Arsenal’s U23 squad and the academy system in general, to demonstrate that he deserves the job on a full-time basis.